Roglic hits first

The Slovenian triumphed over his compatriot Pogacar in the Bilbao time trial that opened the Tour of the Basque Country, with a 28-second lead. Tomorrow, online stage from Zalla.


Primoz Roglic prevailed in the first round against Tadej Pogacar this year, 28 seconds behind. The heads-up between the Slovenian stars at the start of the Tour of the Basque Country was resolved in favor of the winner of the Itzulia in 2018, after an exciting time trial. Pogacar wanted to press on the final stretch, an explosive three-hundred-meter climb from the Plaza del Gas to the Etxebarria park, next to that chimney that remains as a vestige of what was occupied by a steel foundry more than two decades ago. A beautiful watchtower in which the double winner of the Vuelta climbed triumphantly and which makes it hit first. McNulty, a specialist who was twenty-nine in the time trial of the last World Cup, was debating the victory until the end in a demanding stage, over 13.9 km, which everyone applauded, since they prefer to have that battle with the clock uncorking the race in instead of placing it at the end, when there is no room for correction.

At the middle point, after passing the impressive Bilbao viewpoint in Artxanda, one of the busiest green areas in the city, before Enekuri well above, the best was McNulty, with 7:42. Pogacar went to three seconds, Roglic to 5 and other great cyclists such as Valverde (+7) and Yates (+7) were far behind. The leader of the Jumbo decided to leave very early, at 2:12 p.m. in case the wind changed. He had to wait three hours until he saw the last bike go by and verify that he was the first leader. The rest opted for the final section around five in the afternoon. The day, very sunny, invited us to pedal without reservation and the two 'humps' in Santo Domingo and the ramp to the park, demanded a lot. A festive day in which all the Basque fans, one of the most numerous and noisy in the world, were very respectful of the health problem that has Bilbao on the verge of a new perimeter closure, without large crowds.

Roglic finished by setting an unbeatable time of 17:17, at an average of 49.1 km / h. After leaving the basilica of Begoña, another emblematic place of the capital for sheltering the patron saint of Bizkaia, and the ascent to Santo Domingo, the descent was very fast, looking for an aerodynamic profile. And the entrance to Bilbao, due to the more touristy scene leaving the Guggenheim on the right, allowed us to catch air to that Plaza del Gas, a truce before the definitive slope. There Pogacar arrived quite asphyxiated, who gave five strokes and had to sit down. He wanted to stand up, but couldn't. The wind was perhaps more of the face and slowed down in the last ones that came out.

The result is good news for Landa (26 to 49 seconds), since Pogacar will have to move the race and he is doing well in the attempt to dynamite that control that the Jumbo is beginning to exercise, which has put three runners between the four first, Roglic, Vingegaard and Foss. McNulty stepped between them. The North American won the victory of the first stage at the Botica Vieja roundabout that leads to the promenade along the Ría. He didn't take it well and precious seconds slipped away from him. For Ion Izaguirre, who defends the throne achieved in 2019, the stage was very tough in the final section: 42nd at 1:09. One minute is already very difficult to rectify with so many stars fluttering around. 9. The one who made it into a movie is Álex Aranburu, at 31. At Kern Pharma, the runner Kiko Galván was unwell, with stomach pain and slight tonsillitis, and, despite having undergone three PCR tests with results negative in the last eight days, neither he nor his bubble partner Martí Márquez started at the Itzulia and the team starts in the frame. Also, a good stage for the eternal Valverde, great at the Indurain GP and who finished nineteenth at 42 seconds. His teammate Mas had a mishap in the race and left 1:17 on the finish line with respect to Roglic to finish the 55th of the stage.

Tomorrow the second stage is disputed, the first online. A route of 154.8 km along Biscayan roads between Zalla and Sestao and final next to the Las Llanas soccer field after a hard final slope, that of Galindo, of half a km at 6.6 percent and started at 13 percent of unevenness. Previously three scoring highs will be climbed, those of San Cosme (km 78.5) and Bezi (103.4), both in Third, and that of La Asturiana, in Second. The latter, with a 7.4 km climb to 6.5 km and the summit 14 km from the finish line, can break the race with the 3.5 km. initials at 8.9 percent and tranches up to 14. 444 444

José Luis Arrieta, Movistar sports director, advanced, after Valverde's good time trial, that the former champion will fight for victory in Itzulia 2021. "It is difficult to win but for trying it will not remain," said the former San Sebastian runner. "We know him well and we know that when he disputes he always does it one hundred percent. It does not surprise me because we all know that he is one of the best in the world," he added. Arrieta, on the other hand, assured that the other team leader, Enric Mas, "is fine" despite the crash last Saturday at the GP Miguel Indurain.

Classification of the 1st stage and general of the Tour of the Basque Country, held this Monday with departure and arrival in Bilbao (13.9 km):

1. Primoz Roglic (SLO / JUM) the 13.9 km in 17: 17.

2. Brandon McNulty (USA / UAE) at 2.

. Jonas Rasmussen (DEN / JUM) at 18.

4. Tobias Foss (NOR / JUM) to 24.

5. Tadej Pogacar (SLO / UAE) to 28.

6. Adam Yates (GBR / INE) mt

7. Patrick Bevin (NZL / ISR) mt

8. Ide Schelling (NED / BOR) to 29.

9. Álex Aranburu (ESP / AST) at 30.

10. Maximilian Schachmann (GER / BOR) to 31.

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